The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

Transitions

8 Comments

The following is a statement given by the Rev. Mark Brown (Arkin Ariantho) at the April 18 worship service at the Anglican Cathedral in SL:

Greetings in the name of our Lord,

This June will signify two and a half years of founding the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life and two years of offering worship services. Over that time we have grown to seven services, a discussion group, Bible Study and numerous fellowship, prayer and counseling encounters around the virtual Cathedral. And over that time the leadership of the ministry has matured into a robust and impressive leadership team.

The time has come for me to retire from active involvement in the Second Life Anglican ministry.  The plan is to remain involved in an advisory capacity. On the 14th of June I will be stepping down from the leadership team, leading services and in being involved in the day to day operations.  This decision is brought about due to increasing time pressures in my personal and professional life including a growing family and new responsibilities within my work and ministries.  I want to assure you that the ministry of the Anglican Cathedral in the virtual world will continue to flourish in this time of transition and beyond, under the expert guidance of the leadership team.

It is a real pleasure to serve God in this unusual setting.  I am firmly convinced that God is the God of the virtual space.  There is much the church needs to do to make the most of the internet; this isn’t about producing yet another website or blog, but of reconfiguring what church is, to best interface with the digital generation.  But also, we the church need to speak boldly into that same generation so as to influence it towards all that we hold dear in the Anglican tradition.

An exciting mission indeed!

In Christ,

The Reverend Mark Brown (Arkin Ariantho)

and the following response was given by me (Cady Enoch) on behalf of the Anglicans of Second Life Leadership Team.

Greetings all!

The Anglicans of Second Life Leadership Team would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Rev. Mark Brown for his leadership in the founding and development of the AoSL ministry.  We are saddened by his intention to retire from active involvement in this ministry, but understand the family and professional commitments on his time that have led to his decision.  We are most grateful that he has agreed to maintain an advisory status within this ministry, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.  We also appreciate the confidence he has placed in the Leadership Team to carry on the mission of this ministry, and we are fully committed to sustaining this ministry well into the future.

We would also like to thank all of those within our community who took the time to participate in our recent community survey.  We have collected a huge amount of data that we are still in the process of working through.  The demographic data from the survey will be posted on our blog this Monday.  There are two major themes that have emerged from our analysis so far.  You have expressed a desire for us to more clearly define our ministry goals and mission statement.  You have also asked for clearer and more effective communication from the Leadership Team.  Please be assured that we are listening to these requests, and are working hard towards meeting these goals.

In addition to our ministry within the SL community, the Leadership Team continues to work with our colleagues in the RL Anglican church (notably Bishop Tom Brown of Wellington, NZ and Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford, UK) towards our goal of recognition by, and integration into, the work of the wider church community.  This work includes the formulation of an AoSL Constitution, which will help us define the structure and governance of this ministry going forward.  We have been working on a draft of this document for some time, in consultation with legal experts within the church, and are currently awaiting clarification on some key issues within it.  As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will share further information on this process.

These are indeed challenging and exciting times for all of us involved in this unique ministry.  Please know that all of us at work in this ministry are sustained by the prayers and support of this community, and that we are always open to your thoughts and ideas on how best to move forward in this important work.  It is a privilege for us to be able to serve you in this way, and to serve God in this wondrous environment.

God Bless,
The AoSL Leadership Team

8 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. This conversation is really exciting. There is so much positive energy and desire for the work of the Spirit of God in the lives of everyone.

    Dear Mark,

    You have been and will continue to be a wonderful inspiration for many. Thanks so much for each step you have taken, and shared. Your wisdom and courage are invaluable gifts to the wider church. I hope that these new directions will prove to be a journey of maturation and deeper understanding for the community of the SL; as well as providing new fruitfulness in the RL.

  2. It is great news to hear that the Sat 8pm service will be able to continue. Those are some of the newest advocates for the sim. I wish you the best in your new endeavors, Mark. Where are you headed?

  3. I hope, Miraanda, that those who have begun to come to the services will find that they can develop a sense of the community which also attends with them and that this will help in the time of transition. It’s difficult to lose a leader and to face changes of course but I do hope these people don’t feel they need to go anywhere different now. If anyone is upset about this and needs someone to talk to, members of the Leadership Team are happy to do so. It’s good that they have someone like you who is concerned about them.

    Helene

  4. Greetings Miraanda,

    I am in conversation with someone to continue my 8pm service. They are hugely capable and will make an excellent service leader.

    God bless,

    Rev Mark

  5. I pray for the folks who became followers only after the 8pm Saturday service was formed. Those whom Arkin left earlier this year have been given a chance to either visit his service or not; there has been the opportunity to keep following him, even if it had become a little more inconvenient.

    For the new folks who started following him; where will they go now? They have just started getting excited.

  6. Dear Mark, the Leadership team, and the entire community of believers.

    I also am firmly convinced that God is the God of virtual space and is as active in SL as He is the real world. I am amazed at how He uses each one of us as we continue to look to Him, to bring healing, restoration and meaning into broken lives, ours included!

    Yes there will be sadness at your departure from active involvement in the ministry Mark, but as you have always said, it is His work and what a team he has raised up, and is continuing to raise up.

    Let us all continue to look to Jesus and ask Him “How do you want me to be involved now, Lord?” We who are regulars at Cathedral are all a part of the team, the body of believers, called to encourage each other and uplift all who are in need of our particular gifts, abilities, visions and dreams. We have been blessed to be able to contribute our ideas and thoughts in the recent survey which has been wonderful.

    In particular we need to encourage those in leadership in this time of transition. I am reminded of Isa 43:19 where God says “Behold I will do a new thing. It springs forth now. Don’t you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.. etc”

    We need to call on our God, seek him at this time, perhaps repent of some of our own agendas. Lets not get upset if our gift is not instantly recognised. Let us instead hear from Him, so that we can all work together, that others may find their way to the source of living water and abundant life, Jesus Christ!

    God Bless you all.

    Charlie12string Lax

  7. Greetings MimseyBorogove,

    I really appreciate your comment and completely agree with you that the mission will develop and grow!

    And yes http://brownblog.info/ will continue.

    God bless,

    Rev Mark

  8. Arkin, you will be missed, but I’m also confident that this mission in SL will continue, and continue to grow. Thank you so much for your vision and efforts in planting one of the more unusual churches in history. Against the expectations of a lot of people, it has become a real church, with a real congregation, and with real love of neighbor and dedication to God in Second Life. (You’re keeping up your blog, though, right?🙂

    MimseyBorogove Susanowa

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